Udaan, a three-year business-to-business e-commerce platform in India, has raised more than $ 1 billion in funding through a new round of funding because the company hopes to attract more SMEs through its online store.
Udaan is a web-centric B2B trading platform designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses in India. It combines Indian traders, wholesalers, retailers and manufacturers on a single platform. Through deep insights into active trends and outstanding B2B trading capabilities, Udaan brings technology power to users that can expand and grow their business.
The $ 585 million in new funding came from Tencent, Altimeter, Footpath Ventures, Hillhouse, GGV Capital, and Citi Ventures. Existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners and DST Global also participated in the round.
The company said in a press release: "We are building Udaan to make it a trusted partner for small businesses across the country to empower these entrepreneurs with technology, financial inclusion and supply chain capabilities to enable them Compete and win in the digital world. "
The company was founded by three 39-year-olds-Amod Malviya, Vaibhav Gupta, and Sujeet Kumar, all engineers at India's top Indian Institute of Technology and holding key positions at online retailer Flipkart Online Services Pvt. Its logistics, payment and fulfillment platform connects 20,000 sellers across the country with 3 million retailers, ranging from fruits and vegetables to electronics, clothing and toys.
Udaan co-founder Vaibhav Gupta said Udaan also offers credit lines to provide working capital for buyers and sellers on its platform to address one of India's biggest challenges for small, micro-enterprises and merchants. He said credit for the buyer and seller was provided by Udaan and other non-bank partners.
Udaan was founded in June 2016, started operations one year later, and gained unicorn status in September last year. So far, it is one of the few startups to achieve a $ 1 billion private valuation in the shortest time.
With the fund, Udaan plans to expand its market in existing areas and expand into new categories. It also aims to invest in enhanced payments, fulfillment delivery and SME financing, which are key aspects of the B2B e-commerce business.
Amazon and Walmart have invested billions of dollars to establish a business-to-business market in India, but e-commerce still accounts for only 3% of India's overall retail market.
Small businesses in India, including many small neighborhood shops called Kirana, are an important part of India's Internet access. Global retailers Wal-Mart and Amazon.com Inc., India's largest corporate reliance industrial company, and startups like Udaan are scrambling to digitize these small businesses, helping them become service points that provide products and services to the community. Udaan has a first-mover advantage over its large competitors.
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